Page images

See now borne forth the monstrous mask of gold,
And ebon chair of many a serpent-fold;
These now exchanged for gifts that thrice surpass
The wondrous ring, and lamp, and horse of brass.
What long-drawn tube transports the gazer home,
Kindling with stars at noon the ethereal dome?
'Tis here: and here circles of solid light
Charm with another self the cheated sight;
As man to man another self disclose,
That now with terror starts, with triumph glows !


CANTO X. Cora-luxuriant Vegetation-the Humming-bird-the Fountain

of Youth.

[blocks in formation]

Then Cora came, the youngest of her race,
And in her hands she hid her lovely face;
Yet oft by stealth a timid glance she cast,
And now with playful step the Mirror passed,
Each bright reflection brighter than the last!
And oft behind it flew, and oft before;
The more she searched, pleased and perplexed the more!
And looked and laughed,and blushed with quick surprise;
Her lips all mirth, all ecstasy her eyes !

But soon the telescope attracts her view;
And lo, her lover in his light canoe
Rocking, at noon-tide, on the silent sea,
Before her lies! It cannot, cannot be.
Late as he left the shore, she lingered there,
Till, less and less, he melted into air !-
Sigh after sigh steals from her gentle frame,
And say—that murmur-was it not his name?

She turns, and thinks; and, lost in wild amaze,
Gazes again, and could for ever gaze!

Nor can thy flute, ALONSO, now excite,
As in VALENCIA, when, with fond delight,
FRANCISCA, waking, to the lattice flew,
So soon to love and to be wretched too!
Hers thro' a convent-grate to send her last adieu.
-Yet who now comes uncalled; and round and round,
And near and nearer flutters to the sound;
Then stirs not, breathes not-on enchanted ground?
Who now lets fall the flowers she culled to wear
When he, who promised, should at eve be there;
And faintly smiles, and hangs her head aside
The tear that glistens on her cheek to hide ?
Ah, who but Cora?—till inspired, possessed,
At once she springs, and clasps it to her breast !

Soon from the bay the mingling crowd ascends,
Kindred first met! by sacred instinct Friends!
Thro' citron-groves, and fields of yellow maize,
Thro' plantain-walks where not a sun-beam plays.
Here blue savannas fade into the sky.
There forests frown in midnight majesty;
Ceiba, and Indian fig, and plane sublime,
Nature's first-born, and reverenced by Time!
There sits the bird that speaks! there, quivering, rise
Wings that reflect the glow of evening skies !
Half bird, half fly, the fairy king of flowers
Reigns there, and revels thro' the fragrant hours;

[ocr errors]

Gem full of life, and joy, and song divine,
Soon in the virgin's graceful ear to shine.

'Twas he that sung, if ancient Fame speaks truth, “Come! follow, follow to the Fount of Youth! I quaff the ambrosial mists that round it rise, Dissolved and lost in dreams of Paradise !" For there called forth, to bless a happier hour, It met the sun in many a rainbow-shower! Murmuring delight, its living waters rolled 'Mid branching palms and amaranths of gold !

« PreviousContinue »